Saturday, August 06, 2005

Wolf In Sheep's Clothing - Part III

As discussed yesterday, there is a call to identify "enemies" on the homepage of a major Christian website.

And this call is not about terrorists in any sense of the word, but refers to those in this country who simply do not support that organization's ideological agendas.

Did Jesus Christ ever tell us to do this? To look for enemies?

You know the answer is "no."

On the contrary, Jesus wanted to dissolve the idea of "enemies." He said as recorded in Luke 6:35-37:

But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil.

Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.

Judge not, and you shall not be judged.

Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned.

Forgive and you will be forgiven.

Jesus is, in effect, saying treat everyone alike. Make no differentiation and do not label anyone an enemy nor treat him as one.

Therefore, any group that calls itself Christian but focuses on labeling others - especially Christians - as enemies because of ideological differences is working in opposition to Christ's message.

They are urging us to create more hell on earth, not heaven.

As tempting as it is to continue in the old "us vs. them" thinking, that is precisely the thinking that Jesus came, over two thousand years ago, to persuade us to abandon.

However, that kind of thinking continues to increase our conflicts.

It has come to the point that our nation is deeply divided - over what is "proper" Christianity! But we cannot remain strong as "one nation under God" with such a conflict being waged.

We must - each of us - be willing to let go of the thinking that divides us.

If you have any doubt about what I am saying, simply look at the inconsistency between saying "love thy neighbor" while on the other hand saying "identify certain of your neighbors - members of your nation and of your religion - as your enemies."

This is false teaching when compared with Christ's words. Do not allow yourself to fall prey to such false ideas that contradict Christ's directions.

Such thinking is damaging to us all.

Yet, please do not fall into thinking that those who are distorting Christ's message are enemies. They are not.

They merely represent the part of collective humanity that has gotten Christ's message wrong, having bent it to fit old patterns of hate and separation from God.

Instead of fearing them, send them an inner prayer of thanks and let them inspire you to make a decision today to redouble your efforts to live Christ's message.

Decide not to preach ABOUT Christ, but LIVE Christ.

In other words, live as He lived.

And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. 1 Corinthians 12:26

God bless you.


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